In April 2015, Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group will welcome a new kind of employee - a humanoid robot called Nao. The bank's first non-human hire that stands 58-centimeters (22.8 inches) tall and weighs a mere 5.4 kilograms (12.7 pounds), is the brainchild of France's Aldebaran Robotics - a subsidiary of Japan's Softbank.
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They may not be able to leap to great heights or perform summersaults like their human counterparts, but the Murata cheerleading robots that made their debut in Japan on Thursday, September 25th, were pretty impressive with the synchronized routine they showcased, while perched over wobbly balls.
At first sight, MIT's recently unveiled "Cheetah", may look like an assortment of gears, batteries and motors, but watch it in action and you will soon be reminded of its spotted namesake that also happens to be nature's fastest land predator. Though the robot cannot attain speeds of 60 mph like the real cheetah, the researchers believe they can bring it to race at least 30 mph making it the world's fastest quadruped robot and also, the fastest human (if it were one), since it would easily outrun Usain Bolt's maximum speed of 28 mph!
Insects like ants and termites are amongst the world's best collaborators. Unlike most humans they have figured out that by working together, they can accomplish much more than they can individually. That is what some researchers are hoping to attain with Kilobots - bite size robots capable of ant-like teamwork and intelligence.
Although most hitchhikers are people in need of genuine assistance, passersby tend to ignore them because they are wary of giving rides to strangers. But what would they do if they came across a hitchhiking robot? Would humans be caring enough to take it to its desired destination or would they vandalize and toss the helpless machine by the wayside?
The fact that the Japanese love robots is well-known. The nation of 127 million people currently employs over a quarter million robots workers, more than any other country in the world, and the number is expected to quadruple in the next 15 years. So far, most of the robots have been built for the industrial sector and therefore bear no resemblance to humans. But if some scientists have their way, the days of androids - robots that look and act like humans, are not too far away.
From May 15th to June 15th, Muscovites seeking entertainment have a unique option - vocal, dance and even stand up comic performances by some of the world's most advanced robots. Called 'Ball of Robots', the month-long event at the city's Artplay Center features over 20 skilled robot entertainers from countries all around the world, including Canada, United States, Japan, France and New Zealand.
When one thinks of fighting robots, it is usually in context of them combating large terrifying alien creatures, not microorganisms that are invisible to the human eye. But the emergence of resilient bacteria that scientists call superbugs, has left medical experts with no choice, but to call in the best combat force available!